My team and I have worked hard to assist people in fleeing Afghanistan and so it’s a matter of deep regret that I’ve had to send the message below to those who are still stranded there.
The Government’s refusal to respond to any more cases is shameful.
I am writing again with an update on the situation as it stands today. Please read this email in full.
Another week has passed, and my office and many around the UK have had no more responses from our emails to the Home Office, the FCO or the ARAP schemes.
After a statement in Parliament from Victoria Atkins MP, who is Minister for Safeguarding and Afghan Resettlement followed by a letter, the latest information the outcome is that we will not get any responses.
The Minister has stated:
‘We must deal with the circumstances as they are, rather than as we would wish them to be. This new reality means that, at present, we cannot provide to MPs assessments or updates on those individuals who remain in Afghanistan and whose cases they have raised. We appreciate that is difficult news to deliver to constituents who are desperately worried about family members and friends. With great regret, we will not be able, therefore, to respond to colleagues with specific updates on individuals. The deteriorating security situation means that such information is not possible to obtain or may change very quickly.’
See the Minister’s full letter here: https://mickwhitley.laboursites.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/831/2021/09/130921-Dear-colleague-HO-casework-1.pdf and the full Parliamentary statement here: https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2021-09-13/debates/D8892FE7-5BFE-431C-8CBE-F64B45D19995/AfghanistanPolicy
After receiving the above statements from the Minister I must say I am appalled at this response by the government. It is deeply disappointing for you and shows scant concern for your plight and that of your relatives and loved ones who are currently trapped in Afghanistan. It is also frustrating for the efforts my team has made logging your families’ details with the Home Office. While I am not responsible for the government’s decision, I do apologise to you for this very distressing news.
We therefore cannot guarantee that any of our emails have been read or logged, and we as MPs have been asked to signpost you to the guidance provided rather than seek to pursue cases on your behalf.
I will continue to update you, and there will be an opposition day debate on Afghanistan in Parliament today, at which I hope to have the opportunity to speak and highlight the issues remaining for you and families.